Every sales team says they’re customer-centric. But few truly build customer centricity into daily best practices. Those that do see their reps elevated from unknown vendor to trusted advisor, while sales velocity increases and predictability improves.
The leaders of these teams have a firm grasp on the control levers of customer-centric selling: belief, integrative conversation, and collaborative solutioning.
Any real change in rep behavior must be rooted in two beliefs: 1) that the company you work for truly delivers value, and 2) equally important, that focusing on customer success will deliver success for themselves.
You’re on your own to prove the merits of your own company, but there are many studies about the competitive advantages of customer-centric selling – not least that understanding the buyer’s priorities will automatically create a compelling event- and buyer-driven timeline for their opportunity.
There are also plenty of studies that show decisions are made emotionally, with people using facts to rationalize those decisions later. So, just as you’re appealing to the belief centers of your team, make sure you’re investing in training them around the emotional side of selling to hit those same centers in their prospects.
Once your team believes, the next practical step toward being more customer centric is to lift their art of conversation. Take time to ingest (then digest) both words and feelings to come to a unified – or integrative – understanding of what’s really important.
Human Connections in the COVID Era
Frame Discovery in Their Terms
Co-Create a Solution
Once your reps have found both rational and emotional alignment with their prospects, it’s time to deliver results with a plan.
Heart still plays a role – since prospects have to believe they made a safe choice in trusting you – but nothing will make a prospect feel safer than knowing everyone is working from a tried-and-tested plan.
Be the Safe Path
Be Accountable and Hold Them Accountable
Customer timelines don’t always line up with your end of quarter. As a leader, it’s your job to give your reps space to serve their customers. Let them be a partner, help them create value, and don’t let them get taken advantage of – and both sides will see real success.
Tom Williams is CEO of DealPoint. Connect with Tom by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about your sales process.